£2bn windfarm plan announcement off north Wales coast

Image caption,
Rhyl Flats off the north Wales coast is currently Wales' largest windfarm

An energy firm is expected to announce that construction work will begin next year on one of the largest offshore windfarms in the world.

The £2bn Gwynt y Môr windfarm will feature more than 200 wind turbines around 11 miles off the north Wales coast near Colwyn Bay and Llandudno.

The RWE Innogy-led project is expected to be completed in 2014.

The project was opposed by some people in Llandudno who claimed it would destroy the resort's views out to sea.

The government's decision to grant planning permission was criticised by protesters who also said wind energy was unreliable.

Details of the Gwynt y Môr project are expected to be announced on Friday morning.

The windfarm is expected to be able to generate enough power for 400,000 households.

Supporters claims some 1,000 jobs could be created in relation to construction and the supply of components.

The announcement is expected to confirm that contracts worth £2.2m have already been awarded to companies in Wales.

Generate electricity

Further contracts and jobs are due to be awarded as the project develops with the expectation that jobs will also be created to support the operation and maintenance of the windfarm.

Work will start towards the end of next year and the the windfarm is planned to generate electricity from 2013, although it will not be completed until 2014.

The project will involve three partners: RWE Innogy, Stadtwerke München and Siemens.

RWE has invested in other windfarms off the north Wales coast including North Hoyle and Rhyl Flats.

Rhyl Flats, which was officially opened at the end of last year, was Wales' largest wind farm.

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